Counting Cars

February 2014 Sales Thread (FINAL): No Thaw Yet

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Sales still chilly, as February sales fall just below year-ago.

February 2014 Light Vehicle Sales Volume:
WardsAuto forecast LV Sales:   1,188,431 units
Actual February LV sales:         1,187,923 units
508 unit (0.045%) difference.

February 2014 Light Vehicle SAAR:
WardsAuto forecast LV SAAR:                           15.29 million
Actual February SAAR:                                      15.27 million
 

WardsAuto tracks light vehicle (LV) sales throughout each sales reporting day. Monthly year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR). February had 24 selling days this year and in 2013. See U.S. Sales summary table for details.

Sales day update thread:

2:10  PM: (FINAL) Kia reported 41,218 February deliveries, a 1% decline from like-2013. WIth that,  total U.S. light-vehicles sales for February came to 1.188 million units, 0.1% fewer deliveries than year-ago.

The resulting 15.28 million-unit SAAR was directly in line with an earlier WardsAuto forecast that anticipated a strong negative effect on retail sales due to the unusually cold weather across much of the country. February's results bring YTD 2014 LV sales to just under 2.2 million units, 1.5% below 2013's two-month toal of 2.23 million.

GM's 18.7% market share was the company's highest since October, and the first time since then that the U.S. auto maker accounted for over 18% of the market.

From Dave Zoia's February sales story: “Weather continued to impact the industry in February, but GM sales started to thaw during the Winter Olympic Games as our brand and marketing messages took hold,” Kurt McNeil, GM vice president-Sales Operations, says in a statement.

PRIOR UPDATES:

1:45 PM: Luxury automakers Porsche and Jaguar Land Rover reported strong year-over-year results. Porsche sales were up 15.2%, while JLR's 19.2% uptick was second only to Subaru's 24% gain. WIth just Kia to report, February's U.S. LV monthly SAAR is tracking at 15.3 million-units.  

1:00 PM: From Byron Pope's Ford story:
"John Felice, vice president-U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, says (delayed) orders should be filled this month, which will help March results. The executive also says February started slow, but built momentum as the month progressed, which also bodes well for sales this month."

12:50 PM: Honda deliveired 100,405 units - falling below Nissan in total sales, as forecast,  for the first time since March last year. The 7% drop from same-month year-ago leaves Honda's 2-month YTD total 4.8% under like-2013.

Hyundai's tweeted 49,003 February sales marks a 6.3% decline in sales for the South Korean automaker. Mitsubishi sales fell 1.2%.

12:35 PM: Daimler and BMW delivered the forecast 50,000 units, but the split was more even than projected. BMW sold 24,476 BMW and Mini units in February, a 4.4% decline in daily sales that was better than expecations, while Daimler's Mercedes, Smart, Sprinter and medium duty truck brands combined for 25,017 deliveries, below projections, but still up 3.9%.

Mazda's 24,000-plus sales represented a 2.4% drop from year-ago.

11:30 AM: Detroit 3 combined for a 0.1% increase in LV sales in February. Together, Ford, GM and Fiat-Chrysler are tracking 2.4% below year-ago YTD through the first two months. This despite Fiat-Chrysler's 9.5% gain over year-ago through February.

11:15 AM: General Motors dramatically beat WardsAuto's projections for the month, reporting over 222,000 LV deliveries in February. But the "win" comes largely against low expectations. The automaker's sales finished 1% below year-ago. GM's new pickups are still moving slowly out of the gate. The GMC SIerra outsold year-ago by 99 units, while the Chevy Silverado came in 12.1% under year-ago. Still, GM is like to see its overall marketshare rise this month. And it's stronger-than-forecast tally helped lift the projected SAAR to 15.4 Million, for the time being.

11:00 AM: Audi report 10,881 deliveries, nearly identical to year-ago. This marks the second consecutive month of flat sales for the German auto maker, after 25-straight month of year/year improvement.
Volkswagen beat expectations, but still saw daily sales fall 13.8% from year-ago on just over 27,000 deliveries.

10:30 AM: Ford continues the trend of companies report at or near Ward's projections, but below consensus forecasts, supporting the idea that the cold was just too much for many car buyers. Ford Divsion sales (includnig Med/Hvy trucks) were down 7.2%. Lincoln sales wereup 36.4% over year-ago's paltry results, but overall Ford Motor Co. LV deliveries dropped 6.4%

The cold was likely not the only culprit, though, as fleet sales apparetnly continue to underwhelm across the industry.

9:45 AM: Fiat-Chrylser update: Company's total LV deliveries, just under 154,000 deliveries a nearly 11% gain over year-ago, directly in line with the WardsAuto forecast.

Nissan and Subaru also met expecations, with Nissan reporting a 15.8% jump in February sales, and Subaru coming in 24% aover year-ago. Nissan's new Juke stood out, with sales up 84% over same-month year-ago, and the Leaf electric car more than doubled its volume with 1,425 deliveries. Subaru sales benefitted from a 95% bump in Forester sales, and a nearly 70% boost to the XV Crosstrek.  

Toyota reported sales just under, but directionally in line with, WardsAUto projections. The company's combined Toyota and Lexus brand deliveries fell 4.3% below year-ago, dropping just belo 160,000 units.
 

9:30 AM: Fiat-Chrysler first to report February sales. Fiat brand sales were up 5% over year-ago. Chrysler up just 1% and Dodge brand was down 11%. Big push for FC was in trucks with Jeep sales up 57%, thanks, again, to very solid sales of the all-new Cherokee, a 34% uptick in Grand Cherokee sales. Ram Brand (with some heavy pickups included) sales were up 28%.

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John Sousanis

John Sousanis oversees WardsAuto data operations as Director of Information Content, and is Ward’sAuto sales analyst. Follow John on Twitter @CountingCars.  

Haig Stoddard

Haig Stoddard is a veteran automotive industry analyst. His current focus is North America production and longterm sales forecasting.
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